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Cedar Catholic hosts No. 1 Norfolk Catholic in District Showdown

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HARTINGTON - It will be a showdown of premier running backs when Norfolk Catholic comes to town on Friday to face Cedar Catholic. 

Both teams feature preseason All-State candidates in the Huskerland Prep Report in Norfolk Catholic senior Dylan Kautz and Cedar Catholic junior Jacob Keiser.

The two players have lived up to the hype so far this season. Full stats of Norfolk Catholic against BRLD could not be recovered, but through four of the five games, Kautz has 840 yards and 14 touchdowns on 93 carries. From the BRLD game, it is known the senior back had three touchdowns, including one from 80 yards.

Through five games, Keiser has been impressive as well. He has 747 yards and six touchdowns on 117 carries.

Each player has the explosive factor to bring to the game. Keiser this year ran for 330 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries in the Trojans first win of the season against David City. Kautz has scored eight touchdowns from 35 yards or more and has had over 200 yards in two games — not including BRLD.

Not to mention Kautz is a three-year running state track champion in the 100 and 200-meter dashes.

Cedar head coach Chad Cattau knows both Kautz and Keiser have the ability to dictate a game.

“Both players have some very special abilities and they both have the ability to score from anywhere on the field.  We need to do our best to make Kautz work for everything he gets.”

Unfortunately for Cattau, Kautz is not the only offensive threat in reigning C1 State Champion Norfolk Catholic. The Knights have a Nebraska Husker commit on the line in Ethan Piper, and there are two more backs in Ryan Vetter and Evan Smith that can be just as lethal.

Cattau remains strong in his statement though of the Trojans focusing on themselves week to week. It has won two games in a row for Cedar, too.

“We will continue to focus on getting ourselves better.  That has been our main emphasis all season and we need to continue with that.  It has shown a lot of dividends as the season has progressed so we will continue to keep that same approach. We will expect our kids to amp up their efforts and prepare for this one like it's a playoff game, but we will not put any added pressure on them.  If we prepare well and go out and play hard, that is when we are truly at our best.”

The Trojans are 2-3 on the season after winning on Homecoming night against David City and following it with an overtime win in Ponca last week. Norfolk Catholic is riding a four-game win streak after losing to rival Pierce to start the season. It will be the first time these varsity football programs have met under Cattau’s coaching tenure.

“We haven’t played each other at all on the varsity level since I arrived at Cedar, so there isn’t a lot of familiarity with each other.”

Both teams are a part of the Mid-State Conference though so the schools have a history in other sports. Most recently, this fall Cedar Catholic has seen victories on the volleyball court and the golf course.